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Alone In A Strange New Place

Pamela Skidmore, Florida, USA
November 2000

We were moving from Miami to a small town in Central Florida. We were tired of the big city and all of the problems that go along with it. Since my husband can do so much with his hands we decided on buying an old house and fixing it up.

The house that we decided on was built in 1927 by the grandson of a civil war veteran. The day that we put a bid on the house was a cold day in November of 1994. My husband had travelled up to see the house but unfortunately I could not get out of work, and had to trust his judgement. I was unable to come up for another two weeks to see it for myself. He placed a bid right then and there.

At first sight I wanted to turn around and run! The house was badly neglected and needed more than TLC, It needed a miracle! It was a little to late to back out of it since the owners had already accepted our bid. My husband assured me that he could handle it and we would be fine.

It just so happened that on my first visit to the house the two young sons of the owner were on the premises. One appeared to be about 16 years old and I struck up a conversation with him. I told him that I was fascinated by old houses and this one was interesting. Did he grow up in the house and could he provide any history for me?.

He told me that they had lived in the house for about 5 years and the only reason that he and his brother decided to sell it was because their Father had recently committed suicide and they could no longer keep up the payments. I tried not to show too much repulsion as I asked the next question. Did their Father commit suicide in the house? He answered YES.

The following March we were ready to leave Miami and start out on our new life. I had my two young grandchildren at that time and would have to live in the house as it was until we could fix it one room at a time. The problem was that I had to spend 6 months alone, My husband worked for a Utility Company that had a branch in neighbouring town but had not yet received his transfer. I felt like a regular pioneer. My husband would head up every Friday after work and spend the entire weekend renovating, room by room. He would turn around and head home on Sunday evening.

The house sat on an acre of land and was backed on two sides by orange groves. Across the street was woods and a railroad tack. We had one neighbour on the side, but he was at the end of the acre of land and I felt very alone.

One day our daughter came for a visit from Miami and I had to put her on the front porch in a twin bed amongst boxes. She took it like a trooper.

In the middle of the night she came running out of the porch into the living room where I was on a sofa bed. She was very excited and told me that when the train blew it's whistle she heard two young children in the room with her say "Look Grandma, Look Grandpa there's the train". She asked me if I had heard it too. I assured her that she was hearing things and to go back to bed. She refused to go back into the room and crawled in to the bed with me. The rest of her visit was uneventful and she left to Miami that Sunday evening.

Once again I was alone for the next five days. About two weeks later, still unable to have a bedroom to sleep in, I was alone on the sofa bed about 3 in the morning, and was wide awake when I heard children playing on the front lawn. I got up and checked and was positive there was no one there. After that, I never heard children again.

Everyone that came up to visit was afraid to be alone in the house. They were sure that the room that the old man killed himself in was the guest room, but they were wrong it had happened in what was to become my bedroom.

Many of our friends and relatives said that they literally laid awake all night long with their eyes wide open. Some would refuse to visit again. Many told us that the feelings that came out of the house were evil.

The only other time that we had any kind of activity was when our son in law came for a visit and was in the guest room with our 6 year old granddaughter.

She and her cousin had been playing out side when we called them in to take a shower and get dressed so that we could go out to eat. The girls came in side and split up each going into a different bedroom separated by a bathroom. No sooner had they gone into the bedrooms when they came out very frightened and shaky. They simultaneously heard kids outside of the two separate bedroom windows say "Yeah, Let's scare them to death" I could not leave them alone after that incident. I also could not explain what they heard as there were no other children on our property.

We stayed another 3 years and there were times when I felt that I was not alone in the house, although I can't say that I was ever actually afraid. I did hear footsteps at a certain time every night coming up the old wooden steps that lead to the front door. I talked to a previous owner and she said that she heard the same thing. She could not say however that she heard young children.

We sold the house about a year ago, and I have to admit that I miss the old place, but we are at peace in our new home.

There were a few incidences that happened that I forgot to include in the original story, forgotten because they happened so long ago an so much had happened.

One day, my 25 year old son came for a weekend visit. It was a Monday afternoon and he was preparing to return home. I had just laid the baby down for a nap. She "always" took a 2 to 3 hour nap. It had been about 15 minutes that she was down. The other children were in school and my son was standing there telling me something or other when he froze, stopped talking and looked at me. He said that the baby had just walked across the floor onto the front porch. I said that was not possible because she was fast asleep 3 minutes before. We turned and walked into the room and sure enough she was out like a light. It could not have been her. I have no idea what he saw. He left me and went home.

The other occurrence happened one day when the kids were in school. It was very cold and about 11 a.m. I pulled the baby into bed and wrapped her in a blanket and tried to take a nap. Within a few minutes, I heard the back door open and shut. I thought that it was way to early for my husband to be home. Heavy footsteps came across the old wooden floors, and into the hall. I listened, and when they stopped I got up to investigate. There was no one in the house. I looked inside in every room. I looked outside on the porch. There was no one on the property. When I told my daughter about the incident she told me that she had the same experience when she was there alone in the house and babysitting for me. She heard loud footsteps walking around the inside of the house. There was no mistaking it on the old wood floors, they creaked when anyone walked on them.

We did not disclose to the new owners that the house was haunted because we never had tangible evidence that it was.

Pamela Skidmore, Florida, USA
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